Benedict Samuel cast in Western thriller

08 October, 2014 by Don Groves

Kieran Darcy-Smith’s By Way of Helena, a revenge thriller set in a West Texas frontier town, is getting an even stronger Aussie flavour.

Liam Hemsworth, William Hurt and Alice Braga star in the independently-financed film which is now shooting, and Benedict Samuel has joined the cast.


Hemsworth plays David, a Texas Ranger who is sent to an isolated town in the 1880s to investigate a series of murders. Harrelson plays Abraham, the charismatic and unsettling preacher who seems to hold the townsfolk in a fearful grip.

Samuel is cast as a Brit who visits the town with his father and brother to participate in one of the preacher’s notorious manhunts, in which they choose a Mexican man, woman or child to hunt down and kill.

Matt Cook penned the Helena screenplay and executive produces. David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are the producers and WestEnd Films is the international sales agent. It’s the second feature from Kieran Darcy-Smith, whose debut was Wish You Were Here.

This is Samuel’s fourth US film in the past 18 months. In August he was among the ensemble cast of The Stanford Prison Experiment, the saga of 20 undergraduate volunteers who are offered a cash incentive to assume the role of either guard or prisoner for two weeks in a mock jail, all in the name of scientific research.

Represented in Australia by United Management and in the US by WME and Management 360, he appeared in Robert Zemeckis' The Walk, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe Petit, the French highwire artist who made the illegal wire walk between the World Trade Centre towers.

Before that he starred in Asthma, the writing and directing debut of actor Jake Hoffman, the son of Dustin Hoffman, as a New York heroin addict who embarks on a destructive weekend bender.